How to Use Digital Marketing to Overcome Ad Blockers
An increasing number of users are downloading ad blockers. As a result, digital marketers have had to adjust their strategies in response. Ad blocker adoption has more than doubled since 2013. Is it because people hate advertising? Not necessarily.
It’s actually because people hate intrusive and irrelevant advertising. People still have favorite ads. The problem is the good ads have been overshadowed by offensive advertising, so, users are installing ad blockers. Google engineering director, Linus Upson, wrote:
“It’s unlikely ad blockers are going to get to the level where they imperil the advertising market, because if advertising is so annoying that a large segment of the population wants to block it, then advertising should get less annoying. So I think the market will sort this out.”
The question is, where does advertising go from here? Instead of blatant self-promotion, think of natural and word-of-mouth advertising. Here are several ways your digital marketing strategy can get around ad blockers.
Stop utilizing banners
There were a time and a place for banner advertising. That time and place are now in the past. No one clicks on banner advertising. They did when it was a novel idea. But, sites have been so saturated with banners that people are sick of them. All they do is look at the text, and they can figure it out for themselves. Instead, focus on how to connect with your audiences in a way that is less obtrusive. Don’t speak over conversations, join them. Think of social media, events, thought leadership and content creation.
Advertise like a startup
In the beginning stages of your business, you probably did not have much of an advertising budget to work with. In the age of ad blockers, that may actually work to your benefit. The reason is that you want to get back to the most effective type of digital marketing: word-of-mouth.
Users are more likely to react positively to recommendations from people they know than listen to what a brand tells them to do. They will also listen to influencers they follow. Ad blockers cannot prevent referrals. This is why, when it comes to recommendations, we ask our friends, employees, co-workers, partners, and influencers.
Get back to email marketing
If you have a loyal following and subscriber list, then you should harness the power of email marketing. When consumers subscribe to your email list, that means they do want to hear from you. This is even better than followers on the hot social media platform of the moment.
Plus, email reaches customers where they are–on their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device. The key is to increase the level of personalization. Understand your target market in order to pen relevant messages, which help to increase your average open rate. In 2017, consumers will expect even more personalization and customization.
We live in a consumer-driven age. If you have a target market of mothers, think of a subject heading that will grab their attention. Perhaps it is something that will help improve time management or something to do with children. Remember, one size does not fit all. Beyond your general market, aim for segmentation. You might separate your market by age, location, past purchase history, spend and more.
Improve the quality of your native ads
What makes native ads different is they blend with your content, and in some cases, can evade detection by ad blockers. They can also be used to provide helpful information as opposed to simple self-promotion. As a result, users are more engaged and trust your brand more. So, it is critical to ensure your native ads focus on beneficial content. Create advertising experiences that people really enjoy, and that enhance their overall experiences.
Transition to inbound digital marketing
Since banner ads now have a low click-through rate, the logical step would be towards an inbound approach. You want to focus on interacting with customers via social media and referral traffic. This helps to prevent the reliance on mobile ads. If you need more referrals, consider influencer marketing. Determine influencers who are active in your industry.
These don’t have to be celebrities, they can also be social media and Vlogging stars. Watch their content, take a look at their videos and determine whether they might be a good fit for your brand, customers, and message. Do they already have a loyal following with your target market?
Enhance content creation
You want to stay away from the branded content. Visitors can spot branded content from a mile away. Instead, it is important to have a healthy balance between self-promotion and value for the customer. Most consumers understand that brands need to make money in order to stay in business. But, it has to be about more than just making money.
One way of doing that is by creating shareable content–this should include blog posts and some videos. Consumers want to share information they believe will be of value to their friends and family. So, not only are you providing value, but you are also collecting more referrals. Yet, many marketers struggle with figuring out how to produce shareable content. For starters, you must put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Then, research keywords in Google or a site such as BuzzSumo, which will show you the most popular articles for those keywords. Take a look at popular posts and craft something that is unique, but along the same lines. You will start to see more people respond to your content. It takes some research and thoughtful effort to produce shareable content. You can’t just throw random things out into your audience and hope one of them sticks.
Another option is to get on social media and ask your followers what they want to see. If there is a resounding topic, then you try that route. The objective is to keep your audience engaged and interested. So, before creating content, always ask the question of whether it will elicit intrigue among your target market.
Ad blockers are not going to be the death of digital marketing. Sure, they add a bit of a hurdle to long-used tactics–but, it was time for a change anyway. Ad blockers cause us to become more creative, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, you may connect with your audience and learn something new. Plus, engaging your audience is much more fun than splattering your site and the web with a bunch of irrelevant banners anyway.